International Arbitration and Mediation
Practice Leader: Matthew H. Adler
The resolution of international commercial disputes through arbitration and mediation continues to grow as international investment and trade continues to expand. Pepper Hamilton LLP has broad experience in this area, offering services that include:
- advising on international dispute settlement procedures and institutions
- drafting arbitration clauses and agreements
- representing respondents (defendants) and claimants (plaintiffs) before institutional or ad hoc tribunals
- enforcing awards pursuant to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards
- acting as party-appointees and neutral arbitrators
- serving as mediators in international mediation proceedings.
Pepper is experienced in arbitrating cases before all of the world’s leading arbitration panels, including:
- International Chamber of Commerce
- American Arbitration Association
- London Court of International Arbitration
- International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes
- Stockholm Chamber of Commerce
- China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission
- Iran-United States Claims Tribunal.
As a result of this experience:
- we are familiar with the leading arbitrators in the field and have worked with many of them as expert witnesses and/or party-appointed arbitrators, which means we know how to best establish a panel and launch the case to the client’s advantage from the start of the case
- we have networks of experienced local firms throughout the world with whom we work when necessary (given, for example, choice of law clauses)
- we know the rules, practices and administrators in each of the leading organizations.
Our team includes lawyers who have represented foreign governments, worked at the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State, written and lectured on international arbitration issues, and served on delegations related to the application of international law among nations. Our lawyers are active in all of the major bar associations, teach international law and arbitration at local law schools, and publish in the field. Our lawyers are particularly active in the ongoing effort to develop a judgment enforcement treaty for civil cases, and serve on State Department working groups in that effort.
Pepper’s international arbitration and mediation lawyers work with colleagues in the firm’s other practice areas, particularly in the fields of technology, construction/engineering, intellectual property and patent protection, environmental regulation, and energy and natural resource development. By combining the talents of lawyers experienced in the process of international arbitration and mediation with industry knowledge gained in a variety of fields, Pepper can better assist clients faced with international commercial disputes. We understand clients’ interest in resolving disputes in the fastest and lowest cost manner, and we encourage them to pursue expedited procedures such as arbitration or mediation where feasible and appropriate.
Among the international arbitration matters on which Pepper lawyers have advised are:
- a dispute between a Chinese supplier and a U.S. purchaser over the effect of a “force majeure” clause in a commercial sales contract
- a claim by foreign investors against a host government for damages to a shrimp farm in South Asia following a civil insurrection
- presentation of contract claims on behalf of a U.S. engineering firm against foreign state agencies
- a dispute between a state-owned oil company and its partners in a joint venture project in Africa
- a breach of warranty claim by the purchaser of large building supplies against a Korean/Saudi joint venture manufacturer
- a claim against the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) by a U.S. holding company for a “war risk” expropriation loss incurred by a tire manufacturer in Zaire
- a dispute between a U.S. licensor and foreign licensee concerning the interpretation and application of a most-favored licensee clause
- defense of a consortium of major oil companies against nearly $800 million in force majeure, extra work, and differing site conditions claims by contractor arising out of construction of a new super-heavy crude oil upgrader in Venezuela
- defense of a developer against a contractor’s claims for more than $20 million arising out of an EPC power plant project in Colombia
- prosecution of trade secret and construction claims before the ICC in Paris, arising from an EPC contract to build an industrial facility in Brazil
- prosecution in ICDR arbitration of the prime designer’s claims of deficient design against its principal subconsultant, arising from the project to build Hamad Medical City in Qatar
- representing, in arbitration before the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), a large manufacturer of industrial hydraulic presses in a dispute with a Chinese company
- representation of a large petroleum company in two arbitrations related to an oil exploration and an extraction concession in the Kingdom of Jordan
- representation of the owner of a natural gas pipeline in multiple claims by and against the EPC contractor arising out of the design and construction of a new natural gas pipeline and new compression station (Mexico City)
- representation of a U.S. petroleum development company in a dispute with the Government of Jordan concerning an oil exploration concession in the region of the Dead Sea (ICSID arbitration)
- representation of a former Czech citizen who relocated to Israel and, later, brought claims under the Israeli-Czech Republic Bilateral Investment Treaty
- representation of a core of U.S. professional organizations (law and accounting firms) against the Government of Kazakhstan concerning privatization fees owed on conversion of state-owned businesses, in arbitration before the London Court of International Arbitration
- representation of a U.S. buyer of uranium against a Russian government-owned seller for breach of uranium contracts, in arbitration before the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce
- representation of a U.S. complex machinery manufacturer in a purchase dispute with a Chinese buyer, in CIETAC arbitration
- AAA arbitration between a U.S. petroleum investor and a Lebanese company in disputes relating to farm-out and other related agreements.
We have also litigated cases in U.S. court concerning international law issues of significance to our clients, including a Fourth Circuit case in which we obtained an opinion clarifying the scope of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act in a manner favorable to U.S. companies suing foreign governments or their state agencies for breach of contract. (GNSS v. Tenex
, 376 F.3d 282 (2004)).
Our lawyers are active in all of the major bar associations, teach international law and arbitration at local law schools, and publish in the field. Our lawyers are particularly active in the ongoing effort to develop a judgment enforcement treaty for civil cases, and serve on State Department working groups in that effort.